Friday,24 November, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1270, (12 - 18 November 2015)
Friday,24 November, 2017
Issue 1270, (12 - 18 November 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Newsreel

Al-Ahram Weekly

Al-Sisi in Saudi Arabia

PRESIDENT Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to take part in the Fourth Summit of Arab-South American Countries from 10-11 November.

In a statement from the Egyptian presidential office, spokesman Alaa Youssef said Al-Sisi is due to meet Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz to discuss “fraternal bilateral relations” between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as well as other regional developments.

Youssef added that the Egyptian president’s participation in the summit presents “a good opportunity to promote relations with Arab and South American countries, as well as to discuss regional and international areas of common interest.”

Representatives from all Arab countries, excluding war-hit Syria, are expected to attend the two-day summit. Youssef also said that Al-Sisi is keen to take part in the forum in order to stimulate cooperation between Egypt and South American countries in all fields, especially in light of the economic growth these countries have achieved in recent years “and which Egypt can benefit from on its path to development.”

The South American countries participating in the summit include Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay and Paraguay. A Riyadh declaration is expected to be issued during the summit and include a summary of the most pivotal political issues concerning the parties, including the Palestinian issue and developments in Syria, Yemen and Libya.

The declaration will refer to important issues concerning South American countries, including cooperation in economic, social, cultural and scientific fields.


No dam results

THE LONG-AWAITED ninth round of talks at the ministerial level in Cairo between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan ended on Monday without any tangible decisions taken.

At the talks, held in Cairo on Sunday and Monday, Egypt voiced anew its concerns that the speed of construction of Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam was too quick to carry out any future recommendations of the tripartite committee, which includes representatives from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia.

In March, the countries signed a declaration of principles on the dam, agreeing to safeguard the interests of all three. Two foreign consultancy firms, from The Netherlands and France, were chosen to study reports assessing the dam’s negative effects on Egypt and Sudan, if any.

Talks have been at a stalemate since September when the Dutch consultancy firm Deltares withdrew from the assessment of the dam, saying that the conditions imposed by the tripartite national committee, as well as the French consultancy firm BRL, did not provide sufficient guarantees to Deltares that an independent, high-quality study could be carried out.

Egypt wants both consulting firms to assess the dam to guarantee objectivity and integrity, and also to adhere to professional standards.

A tenth round of talks is scheduled from 21-23 November in Khartoum. The dam is set for completion in 2017. Egypt fears that the dam will affect its water share of the Nile. No studies up until now have dispelled those concerns.

The dam will be Africa’s largest hydroelectric power plant with a storage capacity of 74 billion cubic metres of water.


Ashour again

NASSERIST lawyer Sameh Ashour has been re-elected chairman of the Bar Association. This is Ashour’s fourth term since 2001. According to a statement on Tuesday by the judicial committee supervising the elections, Ashour won 22,987 votes while his rival, Islamist lawyer Montasser Al-Zayyat, came in second with 17,120 votes.

Elections kicked off on Sunday with 26 candidates competing for the chair seat and 304 candidates for the 56 board council seats. The committee said it would announce the names of the winners of the board council membership late on Tuesday.

Lawyers who are members of the Muslim Brotherhood were absent from the voting. The turnout was relatively small since most of the lawyers were preoccupied with the ongoing parliamentary polls, the second stage of which is due to start on 22 November.


French-funded metro line

EGYPT has signed preliminary deals with French consortiums to build the third phase of Cairo’s third metro line, according to a statement by the French Embassy in Egypt.

The Thales/Alstom consortium will develop the signalling and communication systems at a cost of LE522 million. The Colas Rail Lead French-Egyptian consortium will take on the electronic installations and electromechanics works for LE1.6 billion.

The third phase of the new metro line is funded by the French Development Agency (FDA), European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Union. The FDA is contributing 300 million euros ($322.7 million), which will be repayable over 20 years with a seven-year grace period.

The EIB will contribute 600 million euros ($645.4 million), to be repaid over 25 years with the same grace period. The EU contributed a grant of 40 million euro ($43 million). The third line will run from Cairo Airport to Cairo University, passing through downtown Cairo and the densely populated, working-class district of Imbaba.

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